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Red Bazar

Crossover Prog

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Red Bazar Tales from the Bookcase album cover
3.77 | 36 ratings | 5 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In the Beginning (3:00)
2. Queen of the Night Part 1 (6:54)
3. Calling on Her (11:01)
4. City and the Stars (8:34)
5. The Lights of Home (12:24)
6. Sunset for a New World (7:59)
7. Almost Over (11:04)
8. Queen of the Night Part 2 (12:17)

Total Time 73:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Jones / vocals
- Andy Wilson / guitar
- Mick Wilson / bass
- Paul Comerie / drums

- Gary Marsh / keyboards

Releases information

Artwork: Sawtooth Design

CD White Knight Records ‎- RB004 (2016, UK)

Digital album

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and to projeKct for the last updates
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RED BAZAR Tales from the Bookcase ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RED BAZAR Tales from the Bookcase reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars The staff has changed to a better location for an update, you may argue, or even for a new startup. Most certainly the bazar seems to grow, will gain more attention and visitors soon, I'm sure. This due to some main attractions, including new trouper Peter Jones first and foremost, formerly known for his solo project TIGER MOTH TALES. He takes the vocal support here for the first time. Where 'support' will be too short-sighted actually, as he also has supplied the lyrics, hence is deeply involved in the song-writing task. Eventually the album title points to the main inspiration coming from his favourite literature.

In The Beginning might stand for the transition, as the song is an enchanting one, though still instrumental. But at the time you'll notice the appearance of the Queen Of The Night next, 'hey, it's your lucky day ... she dances all alone, her body melting in the light'. The song is showing Peter Jones coming to the fore finally. Including part 2 in particular a real breakthrough for the band, alongside with the compositional aspect as well. Overall this reminds me of the fruitful Enchant times, or Dead Heroes Club in parts. While relatively unpolished and decorated with a slight jamming appeal towards the end, the track Almost Over makes my day as well - wonderful!

RED BAZAR's third album provides a top-notch blend of neo and art prog, this garnered with some remarkable heavy AOR edge here and there. Furthermore 'Tales From The Bookcase' marks a successfull step away from a pure instrumental approach. Released on White Knight Records this is a supremely enjoyable album, convincing me much due to relatively extended as well as highly melodic and catchy compositions. 4.5 stars, yeah, another masterpiece contender in 2016, while reasonably waiting for some time slipping away, needless to say.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Heavy Neo Prog with multiple guitar tracks from TIGER MOTH TALES' Peter JONES, guitarist Andy Wilson, bassist Mick Wilson, keyboard artist Gary Marsh, and drummer Paul Comerie. A bit AYREON in sound, style and storytelling capacity, a bit Hogarth-era MARILLION, this is well-constructed, immaculately performed, engaging music with great storytelling and lots of musical hooks and surprises presented in a very well engineered/produced package. It's really hard to find fault with this music except, perhaps, in its EDISON'S CHILDREN-like simplicity.

1. "In The Beginning" (3:00) an ominous instrumental to effectively set up the rest of the album. Unfortunately, this one also betrays the overall simplicity of the musical structures. (7/10)

2. "Queen Of The Night, Part 1" (6:54) in the heavier parts, this music is weak, grating, in the softer, more melodic sections it is nice, almost good. It's just so simple! Are we sure this is prog and not classic rock? (7/10)

3. "Calling Her On" (11:01) a tolerable song because it starts out softly, slowly, and then builds competently, if not complexly. Best song on the album. (9/10)

4. "City And The Stars" (8:34) illustrates how much I like the guitar work of Andy WILSON. (8/10)

5. "Lights Of Home" (12:24) is most notable for the prominent bass work. (7/10)

6. "Sunset For A New World" (7:59) has some more nice Andy WILSON guitar leads but the chord progression, bass and vocal melodies (and grating vocal harmonies) make this one a weak one. (6/10)

7. "Almost Over" (11:04) opens with some nice ominous moodiness but goes astray, turns into a kind of TED NUGENT piece--drawn out over much more time than is necessary, never realizing any of its potential. The drum sound begins to grate on me. (7/10)

8. "Queen Of The Night, Part 2" (12:17) at least has some time and mood shifts--and some awesome full-band cohesion in the second half--perhaps the best of the album. (8/10)

My biggest complaint lies in the slow and often simple development and sometimes unrealized potential of each song. This album has GREAT sound and some great ideas but they seem mostly underdeveloped.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars UK band RED BAZAR was formed back in 2007 by Paul Comerie, Andy Wilson and Mick Wilson. The outfit released two studio albums and one EP as an instrumental trio, but by 2013 the more frequent use of keyboards in their material led to the addition of keyboardist Gary Marsh towards the end of that year, and then collaborative work with composer and vocalist Peter Jones eventually led to him becoming a part of the band as well. "Tales from the Bookcase" is the first album by Red Bazar as a five-man strong unit, and was released by the UK label White Knight Records in the spring of 2016.

One might describe Red Bazar as of 2016 as heavy progressive rock or neo progressive rock, both of which would fit equally well, I guess, but some of the core recurring elements used throughout the album make me consider that the latter is the most appropriate. As long as you can stomach a neo progressive band that plays around with dark, hard guitar riffs at times, this is an album that is worth checking out though, and then especially due to the lead vocals by Peter Jones and how well they fit into the musical universe explored by Red Bazar at this point. While not a match made in heaven just yet, Red Bazar with its current line-up comes across as a band that has the potential to become a big fish in the relatively small progressive rock lake. "Tales from the Bookcase" is a very well made album that deserves recognition and commercial success.

Review by FragileKings
4 stars I was almost ready to post my review over a month ago but I would have gotten the whole thing all wrong! I had recently purchased and brought home Peter Jones' prog rock masterpiece "Cocoon" by his one-man band project, Tiger Moth Tales. I had heard about Red Bazar and I wondered why after two Tiger Moth Tales releases Peter would go and do an album under a different band name. But when I heard Red Bazar, I understood. This was very different from Tiger Moth. No wonder he decided to do it under a different band name, I thought. I came home after the third listen and was ready to begin typing my review when I consulted the CD info to confirm whether or not Peter was alone on this album, and that's when I discovered, to my embarrassment, that Red Bazar is a band and Peter Jones is the singer only on this album. That changed a lot of how I perceived the album. No wonder it didn't sound at all like "Cocoon"!

Red Bazar is Andy Wilson (guitar), Rick Wilson (bass), Gary Marsh (keyboards), and Paul Comerie (drums) with Peter Jones on vocals for this, their third album. The title "Tales from the Bookcase" was chosen because the songs tell stories from some of Peter's favourite books. The highlight of these for me comes in the two part story "Queen of the Night". Part 1 introduces us to the circus and then the Queen of the Night, a beautiful woman who dances at the circus. Her lover is the Ringmaster who is also an abusive alcoholic. Peter's vocal performance throughout this song changes depending on the scene and subject. The parts about the circus have strong showmanship in his voice. When he sings "Behold! And feast your eyes!" it sounds like he's channeling Ronnie James Dio. The music has a very animated early eighties metal sound and it's a blast to listen to this track. Part 2 tells of how the Strong Man and the Queen of the Night are in love and how they plot to save her from the dastardly Ring Master. Their plan fails though and through a horrible twist of Fate, the Queen of the Night suffers a life-changing tragedy. The story, Peter's performance, and the music make these two tracks the most memorable for me.

Most other tracks are not as overtly dramatic and the music tends to be less dynamic, but each of the songs attract my ear in some part or parts. I can't help but think of side two of Pink Floyd's "Animals" with long songs that move through moods at a mid tempo pace, occasionally emphasizing some parts for dramatic effect. Peter's performance and the lyrics are often the most catching, but the guitar sound and keyboards as well as many of the musical compositions are still very good. They are, however, slower to develop and much less involved when compared to Tiger Moth Tales. But Red Bazar are under the crossover prog banner here so one should not expect anything similar to Peter Jones on his own. My impression is that this is neo- prog that has borrowed a lot from eighties metal at times without the dramatic hair metal song styles.

Most of the songs are between 8 and 12 minutes long, and so while much of the music serves to carry the lyrics and doesn't head off on some bold instrumental adventure, this album's music is more for enjoying on a simpler level and the lyrics presented to stir the imagination or inspire thought. "City and the Stars" addresses xenophobia, nuclear weapons and war, and environmental destruction. "The Lights of Home" describes a ship's voyage for revenge and some disastrous outcome.

In spite of being less complex as I've stated above, the music still offers a lot to enjoy, especially if one is more in a mood to take things a little easy. My personal feelings are that sometimes the progress is a little slow and it's easy for my mind to wander while commuting with this album in my ears. But listening now while typing this review I can say that Red Bazar have crafted very carefully what should go into their songs. And by the way, the sound of the production is excellent with each instrument clearly audible.

One question that keeps coming to mind is why an instrumental band would wish to include the remarkably talented Jones and employ only his song writing and vocal abilities. There's no doubt that Peter contributes to the album in a way that very few could, but is this intended to be a one time deal? Peter currently performs with Camel and has his own projects. Was this to be Red Bazar featuring Peter Jones?

I'm temped to rate the album with three stars simply because of my impression that the music is not what I had expected to hear from an album with Peter Jones and that the songs are less adventurous with their use of ten minutes than what they could be. But Peter's vocal performance, the quality of the sound and the players' ability, and the interest of some of the song lyrics make me think a little higher rating is deserved. It is a very good album overall.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Red Bazar formed in 2007 with Andy Wilson on guitar, Paul Comerie on drums and Mick Wilson on bass and keyboards. The trio released their d'but instrumental album 'Connections', in 2008, and followed it up with 'Differential Being' in 2010. After they released the three track EP 'After The Ice Storm' in 2013 they realized the increasing use of keyboards was making it harder for them to play live, so looked for a separate keyboard player, which saw the recruitment of Gary Marsh. With his addition, the band thought that possibly it was the time to try something different, so started a collaboration with singer Peter Jones, (Tiger Moth Tales), and this 2016 album is the result of that.

I haven't heard the earlier albums, so can't comment on what they sound like, but this is solid neo-prog, with a heavy guitarwork, so that at times they do remind me of the original Freewill line-up when they included keyboards. But, this is neo-prog as opposed to prog metal, as there are plenty of times when Peter assists them in taking it down a step and to move more into IQ territory, but it's just that when Andy puts the hammer down he really does! It is a diverse album in many ways, with picked guitar almost as prevalent as riffs, and the production is quite superb, allowing the space between the layers to be felt really cleanly. It does comes across as a lost gem from the Nineties as opposed to the present day, but speaking as one who was solidly immersed in that scene at the time I'm not viewing that as a bad thing at all! This is something that progheads should be seeking out.

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